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Would You Buy Early?! Then Why Should Your Ticket Buyers?

Ken Davenport posted an interesting carousel on his Instagram feed recently that just caught my eye.


Ken asked his audience, “What Would Make You Buy In Advance?” 

Great question. 

Do you remember my rules of market research?

  • Start with a hypothesis.
  • Figure out how the answer will show up.
  • Build a survey around the first two items. 

I’d be curious about Ken’s hypothesis for his question.

In my research, people wait for any number of reasons, but a few stick out regularly:

  • Might get a better deal later. 
  • Their schedule might change. 
  • Worried about health. 
  • “I didn’t know the show was going on.”

In my research, I’ve found that the biggest challenge you are dealing with is that people don’t know you exist. 

That’s true for you. That’s true for me. 

If you were wondering, that’s why I have a quite spiky public persona…I need you to pay attention and I know the world is lining up to distract you from listening or noticing me. 

What did Ken’s audience say?

  • “I’d get a better deal late.”
  • Awareness seems to be the point of direct mail. 
  • Demand for flexibility.
  • “Anything” that could be considered extra value. 

In about 7 comments, Ken seems to capture the modern challenge of today’s ticket marketing and sales life.

The question I present to you is what incentives are you offering your audience to get them to buy early? 

A few examples I’ve seen in the past?

  • You can use your price as an incentive. “Prices rise at midnight!” works if you stand by the promise. 
  • Use “The Scarcity Principle”. The early tickets sold out for the Snallygasterin DC. I’ll slum it with an hour less of craft beer. 
  • Add value. I used to “throw in” free shipping to certain customers if they bought right away. I’ve also added free parking or a drink. Whatever…same deal applies. 

What happens a lot in tickets right now?

  • Discounts. WTF is this? I received this on July 25th!!! The NFL kicked off on September 7th. 

I’d offer you up other ideas, but “last minute tickets”, “flash sales”, and any other version of discounting seems to be the standard

The challenge I offer to you: let’s brainstorm some new ideas to incentive early ticket purchases. The ‘Talking Tickets’ Slack Channel is wide open…and I’ve posted the question in #tickets. 

I’ll put a few ideas in there as well. 

Let me know what you think is standing in the way of people buying early? Or, how you are going to deal with getting people to buy their tickets in advance? 

I’m going to do an episode of ‘The Business of Fun’ dedicated to driving early ticket sales. 

So email me, send me a voice memo, text me, send me a letter, or smoke signal…let me know. 

The subject line was a trick anyway…you aren’t your customer. Your opinion doesn’t matter. In fact, it is probably dangerous if you think a customer is going to act like you do. 


BTW, I’m in NYC on 28 September for 1-day, delivering a small group session called “Reinventing Revenue”. 

Don’t miss it! 

Join me!